Action packed adventures, intense, love triangles, suspenseful twists of the plot, and witty remarks are all thrown across the pages of a book titled “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. The book was looked upon by many teenagers as if it was a sacred treasure meant to be read by a select few. I was driven by both madness and curiosity to uncover how such a book would deserve this much attention. To my surprise, “The Hunger Games” demonstrated a well thought plot, conflicting love, triangle and intense life or death matters.
The story is set in the post, apocalyptic country of Panem, where America once stood. The country is divided into 12 districts and ruled by a dictating government known as the Capitol. The heroine, 16 year old Katniss Everdeen lives in the Seam, located in the poorest region; District 12. At one point, there was a District 13, but it was consequently destroyed for leading a war against the Capitol. The rest of the districts gave up easily and were forced to follow the cynical Capitol, avoiding the same fate as District 13.
Accompanied by Katniss is heartthrob Gale Hawthorne; the leading lady’s best friend. Gale and Katniss have been hunting together at the woods near the outlying district. They’re content using the animals they’ve caught for food for their family or for a trade of money. Suddenly, everything for Katniss changes when she is faced with the decision to take the place of her sister at the Annual Hunger Games; a brutal, televised event that pits 24 teenagers from the ages of 12 to 17 to fight until there is one standing. One boy and girl are picked from each district and are orced to participate as tributes. This is the punishment that all districts must go through. It’s the Capitol’s way of reminding the nation once more that they are in charge and can send children off to combat without anyone’s say in it. Katniss’s decision to join the games leaves her accompanied by an old flame, Peeta Melark; the baker’s son. The way Collins developed each character thoroughly with distinct differences leads you to ponder which of the two, Peeta or Gale, is right for Katniss. Both Katniss and Peeta took notice of each other from afar and are connected by a single moment.
On a rainy day at the Seam, Katniss is faced with little to no money and doesn’t have any food to offer to her family. She sits hunched over outside the bakery until Peeta walks up to her and offers her bread from his bakery. From that moment on, Peeta is nicknamed the boy with the bread. This act of kindness sets him off as frail and kind; unlike Gale, who is seen as tough and aggressive. By increasing her chance of survival, Katniss and Peeta are publicly announced as star crossed lovers and must defend each other in the arena.
All the while, it is evident that Gale has feelings for her yet he must watch the girl he loves the most fall into the arms of someone else. Katniss is torn between the boy she left back home to the boy with the bread. Throughout the book, her thoughts and feelings often clash with one another and she has been reluctant to go to both Peeta and Gale. The games are held at a remote arena filled with many surprises. Katniss is doing whatever it takes to survive the unknown. She somewhat acts like a babysitter to Peeta by protecting him from every little thing.
What surprised me the most was just how easily she was willing to kill children for the sake of her life. At this point, she has been made a pawn by the Capitol, and the Capitol is winning. She makes friends, and loses friends. The weather is constantly changing and the tributes slowly start to die off. Katniss must also battle with other tributes for the limited amount of food and water supply left. It is very startling to even imagine myself in her position. Everyone there wants to survive yet not everyone is even lucky enough to get through the first day.
The seemingly endless battle drove me insane! I can’t imagine how hard it would be to go to sleep with the thought of not making it out alive the next day. The heart breaking thing to do is ally with a complete stranger. Katniss has been faced with many and must make a choice as the number of survivors left start thinning down. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in a thought provoking story line, romance, and life or death situations. This book will keep you up at night even after finishing it. This fast paced story will keep you reading with excitement.
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